Fighting For Life:
ecoATM Employees Share Their Breast Cancer Stories

Fighting For Life: ecoATM Employees Share Their Breast Cancer Stories

While we gear up for the San Diego 3-Day Walk this month, we reflect on the ways that breast cancer has affected our family, friends and coworkers. A few members of our own ecoATM family have experienced the toll of this disease and have graciously shared their stories. 

“It had been three years since my wife Jill’s last mammogram as she kept putting it off. She finally went in and sure enough, they found a tumor. I went back to the doctor with her to get the results and it was positive – she had breast cancer. I remember the ride home as we sat in stunned silence – she cried and then I did too. Our family was devastated at first but then we all rallied around Jill, shaving our heads, and putting on our best face for her. 

Chemo was the toughest for her, but she never complained as I sat with her holding her hand. It was the first time I ran in a Susan G Komen race and not the last as it gave me the feeling I was doing something to help. The positive energy I felt at my first race was amazing and it came from everyone in the park that day. She was lucky, as she caught it early. If she had gone another year the outcome would have been much different. 

As it turned out it was a small, slow-growing tumor. The treatment worked and she made a successful recovery. Jill is now in her 6th year of recovery but it’s always a nerve-racking day when she goes in to get her mammogram. She is a living testament to women to get tested early and often.”

- D Karnedy, VP of Strategic Partnerships

“My story with Susan G Komen, like most people’s, is bittersweet.

My mother-in-law, Beverly, had suffered with Rheumatoid Arthritis for most of her life. She had retired and had been traveling quite a bit when she realized her arthritis medication was almost up. She went to refill it but was told she needed her doctor to update the prescription. During this time, her Cobra insurance had lapsed as she had forgotten to do it before setting off to Europe. 

The doctor couldn’t refill the prescription until she updated her insurance. While she was off her meds, a lump was found in her breast. She went to see the doctor and they confirmed through testing that it was Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer. Her meds for the arthritis, being anti-inflammatory, had kept the symptoms (the lump) at a minimum level while it spread without her knowing. At this point, Cobra would not insure her as the cancer was now a “pre-existing” condition.

My wife started researching and found a ton of information about the disease through Susan G Komen. She reached out to them and they truly helped my mother-in-law through the fight of her life. They paid for her double mastectomy, her radiation and Chemo treatments. They also paid for her reconstruction surgery. They gave her five years of her life that we wouldn’t have had if not for their amazing work, and the generosity of the people that donate to them. 

Sadly, they were not able to completely eliminate the cancer from her body and it metastasized into her lymph system. Her disease is what brought my family back to San Diego, so that we could be close to her to help as my wife was her only child. 

We have worked very hard in our personal lives to repay the kindness shown to Beverley. My wife has personally raised close to $30K to fund her walks in eight total 3-Day events. This is just one story that’s close to me. I’ve also had four aunts that have suffered with Breast Cancer in the past 15 years. Thankfully their stories have turned out better as each one has beaten this beast.”

- Tim Vallecorsa, Senior Marketing Manager

Join Us For the 3-Day Walk in San Diego

We are excited to be present at the 3-Day in our headquarter city of San Diego! If you’ll be attending the walk, make sure to stop by our booth to donate any used smartphones you have and charge up your current phone. To learn more about the 3-Day, visit their site here